Last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers began the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
Their first season without their long-time QB came with some growing pains, but the team still came very close to a playoff appearance.
This year, they should expect to get themselves into the postseason.
Last year, the Steelers won 9 games and still missed the playoffs. Oddsmakers seem to believe that same thing will happen again this year based on the odds for them to make the playoffs and their win total.
It won’t happen again this year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had some serious quarterback issues last season and still won 9 games.
While we can’t read too much into Kenny Pickett playing well in the preseason, he definitely appears to be improved from last year.
He has plenty of weapons around him with Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and Najee Harris. Pickens will also likely show improvements in his 2nd year in the league.
The Steelers were among the worst teams in the league in scoring last year, but could actually be pretty solid this year.
Then there’s the defense.
The Steelers defense is always tough and was 11th in the league in points allowed in 2022.
That was despite only having TJ Watt for 10 games.
This year, they’ll start the year with a healthy Watt and have added Patrick Peterson, Damontae Kazee, and Joey Porter Jr to their secondary.
All together, they look like they’ll be entering the 2023 regular season with a strong roster.
The Steelers play in a tough division, which will make it a bit more difficult for them to make it to the playoffs, but it also wouldn’t be all that surprising if they managed to put together a 3-3 record in that division.
From there, the Steelers’ schedule just isn’t all that intimidating. They get a few freebies against the Cardinals, Texans, Colts, and Packers.
They get the Patriots, Titans, and Jaguars all at home.
A road game against the Raiders also seems pretty winnable.
Their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers is a tough way to start the year, but Brock Purdy is coming off of elbow surgery and the game is at least at home.
Other than that game, the only other really tough non-divisional game should be a road trip to play the Seahawks.
With an improving squad and a schedule that shouldn’t exactly strike fear in their hearts, the Pittsburgh Steelers should be able to win 10 or 11 games this season and make their way to the playoffs.